Rahul & Rohit hit 50s as India Seal streak with easy win at Ranchi
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma hit half centuries to lay the groundwork for a comfortable pursuit against New Zealand at Ranchi, with India winning the second T20I by seven wickets and taking an unassailable 2-0 lead to seal the series of three games on Friday night. After limiting New Zealand to a sub-par 153/6 fueled by the opener’s stand of the century, the hosts revised the target to 17.2 overs at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.
Highlights of 2nd Q20I: India vs New Zealand
Rahul scored a 65-of-49 hit, an inning featuring six fours and two sixes. He fell trying to rush his team towards the target in the 14th but not before adding 117 points with his captain making 55 of 36 and falling to a rather soft dismissal.
Rohit only hit a four but dotted Ranchi’s night sky with five sixes.
The duo started in quick succession and when Suryakumar Yadav brought one back to be started on 1, memories of Jaipur T20I came back to mind when India was pushed to the final despite its rather comfortable position for the most of the chase before winning the first game of the series.
However, this time around Rishabh Pant ensured no late drama as he smoked two huge sixes from James Neesham to bring his team home.
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However, India could have been left to hunt a lot more without their spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel who applied pressure down the middle to neutralize the blazing start given by opener Martin Guptill of which 31 out of 15 got La New Zealand 64 runs for the price of a wicket in Powerplay.
Daryl Mitchell (31 of 28) and Mark Chapman (21 of 17) threatened to extend Guptill’s good work, but the Indian bowlers made a comeback in the second half of the New Zealand innings.
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Newbie Harshal Patel finished with 2/25 of his four overs while Ashwin, Axar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar each contributed with a wicket as the tourists failed to thrive in the death overs.
The third and final T20I of the series will be played in Calcutta on Sunday.
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